Forum: County Council race

9:35 am October 18th, 2012

Marilyn Rasmussen, as state senator, vigorously defended the rights and interests of the residents of Pierce County. During the many years fighting the LeMay-Sutherland garbage dump, she – unlike Piece County and Tacoma governing bodies and agencies – did not come under the influence of the LeMay garbage monopoly’s unlimited monetary contributions. Unfortunately, the LeMay-Sutherland dump is established and will become another LeMay  Superfund site, poisoning the water of many tens of thousands.

I wrote a letter to state Rep. Jim McCune, expressing  my concern about such destructive activities as the LeMay-Sutherland dump, and hoped for some response to indicate that he would actively work to preserve our water and land for future generations. I received back hyperpolitical publications that were absolutely antiscience and certainly lacking any intelligent consideration of an environment in peril.

I feel Pierce County would be ill-served by Rep. McCune being elected to the County Council. He seems very willing to sacrifice our water and land to benefit the very few, and has little compassion and a very shallow understanding of the needs of the majority.

Harold Fish


3 Responses to Forum: County Council race

  1. Skylar McCune Reply

    October 22, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I felt it necessary to respond to Mr. Fish’s, er, strongly worded letter (“County would be ill-served by McCune on council,” October 17) and address some of the points he made. It is important to note that Rep. McCune did not hold any political office in Pierce County at the time the dump was being considered and approved. He began his tenure as State Representative in January 2005, by which time the question of the dump’s construction and existence was settled. He also has never received any campaign contributions from LeMay or its affiliates.
    I agree that it was a mistake for those bureaucrats and elected officials to approve the building of the dump, especially over an aquifer. However, extreme rhetoric and baseless accusations that Rep. McCune wants to poison water and that he lacks compassion and understanding for the people he represents, does nothing to add to the conversation. Perhaps Mr. Fish’s concerns would be better heard and understood if they were not accompanied by wild accusations and personal attacks. We would all do well to avoid mean-spirited behavior and have a respectful conversation. Only then can we work toward addressing these concerns and come up with efficient solutions.

  2. George Wearn Reply

    November 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I would like to offer a factual correction to the McCune campaign response to the Oct. 17th letter by Harold Fish. The responder asserts that “it was a mistake for those bureaucrats and elected officials” to approve landfill construction over the aquifer. It was the Pierce County Hearing Examiner who approved the landfill permit. Further, the responder actually voted himself, as an appointed member of the Graham Advisory Commission, to recommend approval of a major amendment for new uses at the landfill, beyond the scope of the current permit.
    Since 2005 when McCune took office for District 2, there have many hearings related to the landfill, including those for an unprecedented, highly controversial 28-year contract with LRI, in addition to the most recent hearing on the major amendment for the landfill. Since the landfill is located in McCune’s legislative district (District 2), as well as in the county council district which he would like to represent (District 3), it was disappointing to note his absence at all of the hearings. Candidate Marilyn Rasmussen attended and testified at hearings on both issues because she is in touch with the long-standing health and safety concerns of the community with regard to the landfill.

  3. Skylar McCune Reply

    November 7, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    In response to Mr. Wearn’s response, it is worth pointing out that the Hearing Examiner is in fact a bureaucrat. Furthermore, Mr. Fish assigned blame for the existence of the dump on all “Pierce County and Tacoma governing bodies and agencies.” I took that to mean that while the Hearing Examiner gave final approval, the majority of the other officials had the opportunity to voice objections to the dump and block its progress to approval and construction. Now, the dump sits atop an aquifer, which raises concerns about the water quality being affected by seepage from the fill.
    As for my vote in approval of “new uses”, those are, specifically, 1) the construction of a plant on the dump site to convert the methane gases given off by the breakdown of the fill waste to usable fuel, and 2) storage and maintenance facilities for that plant. No other uses were included in the approval.
    Regarding Rep. McCune’s absence, I know that the essence of what has been discussed at those meetings has been explained to him. Rep. McCune has toured the landfill facility, and has had concerned constituents explain in detail their objections and concerns to him in person. While his attendance would have been preferred, he is not altogether out of touch with the community’s health and safety concerns.
    Finally, while Marilyn was in attendance at the Graham Land Use Advisory Commission meeting in which we approved the “new uses,” in my conversation afterward with her, she seemed satisfied with our decision to recommend approval, with some conditions.

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